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Judges support a teen court
Contrary to a recent letter to the editor, judges Churchill and Hancock have pushed for a teen court for many years. Specifically in 2006, the judges supported a pilot program for a teen court at Coupeville High School. One of the judges made a presentation at the high school and traveled to Whatcom County with the students to observe the teen court there. Juvenile Court Probation Aide Cathy Snowden staffed the pilot program until her other funded duties made it impossible for her to continue with the program at that time.
Judges Churchill and Hancock then pushed for additional juvenile court staff person to spearhead the teen court and other programs, such as our juvenile community accountability boards and the community connections program. The board of county commissioners granted the judges’ request and Juvenile Services Coordinator Lauren Cooley was hired. Ms. Cooley has worked diligently to create teen court, which will be a reality in Oak Harbor High School starting in September 2008 when training is scheduled to begin
Judges Churchill and Hancock are committed to the welfare of the youth of our county. They should be commended for their efforts to establish progressive programs to reduce juvenile crime and help young people to realize their potential.
Michael S. Merringer, administrator
Island County Juvenile Court